No return

Childcare costs force women out of work


UK childcare costs are among the highest in the world (pic: Aaron Burden)

Women say plans announced by the government to help with the cost of childcare are not enough to help them return to work.

More than a third of mothers (37%) said childcare costs were a major reason for not working. The figure rises to 61% among women whose children are not yet at school.

The survey across the UK by online flexible work platform Indeed Flex found that nearly two in five (38%) do not believe the proposals to increase support announced by the Chancellor in his Budget are sufficient.

The same proportion (37%) believe that even with the additional support, childcare remains too expensive — with OECD data finding that UK childcare costs are among the most expensive in the world.

With the average cost of sending a child to nursery part-time costing around £7,729 per year, a third (33%) of working mums are currently spending more than 30% of their wages on childcare.

Novo Constare, CEO and co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “It is encouraging that the Government recognises the childcare dilemma facing working parents. Nevertheless, many women still feel the measures announced in the Budget don’t go far enough.

“Nursery and childminder costs can swallow a huge chunk of new parents’ earnings, and with the current cost-of-living crisis squeezing every household’s budget, it’s no surprise that some women are put off going back to work.”

Bridget Phillipson, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to a new survey from Indeed Flex showing that two in five mothers say childcare costs are still keeping them from returning to work, said:

“The Conservatives’ broken childcare system is denying mothers the opportunity of returning to the workplace, and families, children’s education and our economy are paying the price. 

“Far from solving the problem, the Conservatives’ half-baked plans will pour petrol on the fire, with more nurseries likely to leave the sector altogether.”


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